I like what the World Series of Poker did this past summer to heighten interest in tournament play.
Don’t you? Look, something had to be done. Interest in the circuit was in need of change. TV revenue was drying up, as were viewer ratings.
I’m not talking about me. I always watch tournaments on TV. But officials realized the need for a facelift and instituted a number of changes to make things right.
Did they ever.
One of the best was instead of a $5,000 buy-in Main Event, each stop would feature a more affordable $1,500 buy-in Main Event.
They also included four special $10,000 buy-in Regional Championships, all of which would be televised.
The large prize pool of the Regional Championships, along with the promise of TV coverage, was intended to entice poker’s most prominent players back to the Circuit.
The best change was the $1 million national championship freeroll for Circuit qualifiers, which will take place just before next year’s WSOP.
Only 100 players will be invited to the National Championship and must qualify in one of four ways: win a $1,500 Main Event at any stop, be the “Casino Champion” at any stop by accumulating the most points, make the final table of any Regional Championship event, or be in the top 36 point-getters for the 2010-2011 WSOP-C National Leaderboard.
With the chance to win their way into a Million Dollar Freeroll, WSOP officials believed such a point system would encourage players to travel to all the stops on the Circuit. Indeed, that is exactly what we’re seeing.
So sometimes change is good, don’t you agree?